How Long Does it Take to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

how long does it take to refinish hardwood floors

Refinishing is a process that helps an old, worn hardwood floor look and feel like new. A refinishing project requires you to take all the furniture out of the room and not walk on the floor for several days. Otherwise, you risk damaging the flooring. 

So, how long does it take to refinish hardwood floors? The answer depends on several factors, which you can learn about below.

Factors Affecting How Long it Takes to Refinish Hardwood Floors


Hardwood floor refinishing starts with sanding down the floor to the bare wood and applying a coat of oil-based or water-based finish in the color of your choice. On average, it takes about a day to sand a space consisting of 1,500 square feet. Older hardwood flooring, however, may take longer to sand because the damaged layer consisting of scratches and scuffs can be deep inside the wood. 

The entire room needs to be bare and clean before you can sand down the floor. Removing furniture, ripping up carpet, repairing minor floor damage, and cleaning the hardwood can increase the prep time by as little as a few hours or as much as two days.

Choice of Finish

After cleaning up the sawdust from the sanding, you next choose a refinishing treatment. Your choice will affect the length of the project. 

Oil-based polyurethane coating with no stain needs at least 24 hours to dry before you can apply the next coat. For example, three coats of oil-based finish will require three days of work: one application a day with 24 hours of drying time.

Water-based polyurethane coatings dry faster than the oil variety because they are thinner and produce a more rigid layer. Hardwood refinishing using water-based polyurethane requires an average of two days to complete. It takes up to four hours for the finish to dry, so you can move your furniture back into the room 48 hours after applying the final coat. 

How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors with a stain? It depends. Wood stains mixed with polyurethane generally requires an additional 24 to 48 hours of drying time.


Ideal hardwood floor refinishing times rely on dry air. Humidity slows down the drying process by adding moisture to the air, regardless of the type of finish you apply to the wood. 

Finishes have many ingredients, most of which will evaporate once you apply them to the wood and allow the liquid to dry. After the evaporation process, solids remain on the hardwood to form a thin, durable layer. The solid layer must be completely dry before adding another coat, or moisture can get between the layers, reducing the floor’s durability.

Get Professional Assistance With Your Floor Refinishing Project

Are you still wondering how long it takes to refinish hardwood floors? If you’ve decided it’s time for that refinishing project, turn to A&P Contractors for hardwood floor refinishing services in Woodstock, GA. As an award-winning flooring company, their team strives to exceed every client’s expectation, so call 470-300-9060 to request a free consultation and estimate.

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